Failure To Escape Traumatic Shock


This is with regards to an experiment carried out by Martin Seligman. Animals tend to learn a condition called learned helplessness when they try things for many times without succeeding. Some dogs were subjected to the stress of shock after a bell rang. The dogs were in a cage and they could not find a way out. Their bodies adapted to the shock and because they tried escaping many times but failing all the time, they gave up. There was no point in trying again. Nothing they could do could help them escape the shock. He later moved the dogs and placed them in a cage with a small barrier. They were subjected to the same shock, but they did not move. This cage was not completely sealed and they just required jumping over the bar to escape the shock. The dogs did not try a thing. He realized that the dogs had learnt that no matter what they tried, they could not escape. They were in a situation that they could not help save themselves. This condition is present in all animals. Human beings too get this condition. In human, however, it depends on one’s mind. Those with positive thoughts are less likely to be affected by the learned helplessness condition.

  • Traumatic Stress in Human Beings
  • Human beings are different. They, however, are affected by the learned behavior. They will feel helpless in some situations. The level though will differ depending on the individuals. This is because we will tend to have different interpretations to different situations. We will not see cases in the same manner. This will prompt different reactions to different situations. It will depend on the mind of an individual. The people with a positive mind will approach issues with hope. They will not give up trying because of the past outcomes. Persons with negative minds will despair fast.

  • Effects of Learned Helplessness
  • In human beings, this condition will affect an individual in a great way. Their physical health is at a risk, and they become very weak. The poor health may be caused by the stress of feeling that they are in a situation that they cannot get themselves out. They will approach things with a pessimistic attitude. They feel hopeless and are expecting the same kind of results. They lack motivation. For students, their performance may drop even further. It may at times lead to abuse especially for women who are in an abusive marriage. Worst is that it leads to social issues and people lose the confidence in interacting with others.

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